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January 2010—In this Issue:
I know this is cliché, but my goodness, I can’t believe another year has gone by! As usual, I ended the year filled with anxiety about all the things I did not get done, the unfinished business, the goals that were not met, the people I disappointed. How about you? I guess I need to hear again the scripture that reads:
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.
Jesus’ advice reads beautifully, but in the face of deadlines, expectations, a sinking economy, and dismal retirement prospects, it is hard to consider the flowers. Flowers have no mortgages, no business loans, no tuition, no braces for the kids, no unexpected sink repairs. Flowers have little say in their future and no recourse should things go wrong. Flowers just are, or in a dry year, are not. Beings of higher intelligence have more options and, therefore, more complexity and, consequently, more worry. So while worry may not add an hour to our lives (in fact, my doctor says it takes hours away from life), it is hard to refrain from it.
And yet, Jesus’ point is one we not only need to hear but also to heed. The hardest part of life is living. So we can begin by giving thanks to God who breathes life into us. And as we look to the new year, maybe we can concentrate a little less on building up storehouses for ourselves and celebrate life by feeding those who are in need. There are lots of folks who could use some help, and we can help! And maybe this year we could be open to letting God feed us instead of always wanting to dictate the menu. Have you ever seen a picky raven? The more we have, the more picky we seem to be. This goes for food, liturgy, and even spouses. Maybe a little humility will help us celebrate life with more ease and thankfulness. And seriously, you really are beautiful. Being an older, overweight, and not particularly well-dressed person, I certainly struggle with this one, but then again, I could have been born an armadillo. Your beauty is not tied up in the fleshy stuff; it is kindness, empathy, integrity, care, and joy wrapped in whatever shell you have. Hollywood doesn’t get to define beauty; God does.
So on the cusp of this new year, maybe we can resolve once again to be better people, get more done, and be more efficient and faithful. Or maybe we can consider the lilies and live thankfully in God’s grace.
The LCH Council met on December 15th. Here is a brief recap of the items discussed:
LCH accepts regular donations directly from a bank account, which many members find convenient. Some time ago we discontinued accepting credit card one-time or recurring donations because of the 1–2% charges by the credit card company.
If you feel that credit card donations, one-time or recurring, would increase your ability to give, please let Kanani know. She can be reached at <firstname.lastname@example.org> or 941-2566.
The 2010 budget draft is available for members to preview. If you have any questions please contact Steve Miller, Treasurer through the Church Office (941-2566).
The December in-gathering for the Angel Network was satisfying. A shopping cart with saimin, canned goods, Spam, and personal care items was collected for the Angel Network located at Calvary by the Sea Lutheran Church. Thank you for all your support. In-gatherings are scheduled for the first Sunday of each month, so your next opportunity to participate is January 3rd.
Sunday, January 3rd, at 11:15 AM, following the 10:30 service, the chairperson or another representative of each committee will meet in the Boardroom with Pastor Jeff and Council President Olivia Castro. This meeting, repeated the first Sunday of every month, is to enhance communications among committees. See you there!
Give yourself the gift of time and space this holiday season. Join In Stitches, the LCH craft group, for a morning of relaxation, fun, and fellowship. We meet the second and fourth Saturday of the month from 9:00 to 11:00 in the Boardroom. We work on our own projects or on items for the church. The next few meetings are January 9 and 23 and February 13 and 27.
In January we will have yet another foray into Process Thought, this time relating the topic to music based on an article by Jay McDaniel, entitled “Dwelling MUSICALLY in the world for the sake of sustainable COMMUNITY.” One of the sections of the article is entitled “Jesus, Buddhism, and Jazz.” Sounds interesting. Unfortunately, the article is not available online, but I have copies that I can hand out or deliver to interested people.
We meet on the second Saturday of the month, which means Saturday, January 9th, 9:30–11:00 AM. Come on Saturday or to the repeat session on Sunday, January 10, around noon. For more information contact Fritz through the Church Office (941-2566).
Writers’ Workshop will meet for the first time in the new year on Monday, January 18th, 7:00–8:30 PM in the Boardroom (or the Rainbow Room) at LCH. We’ll be setting our spring schedule at that meeting. All are welcome. For information, please contact Kathryn Klingebiel through the Church Office (941-2566).
Food for Thought will meet for our first potluck supper and discussion of the new year at the home of Irmgard Hörmann on Saturday, January 23rd, at 6:30 PM. All are welcome. For directions or information, please contact Kathryn Klingebiel through the Church Office (941-2566).
The LCH office would like to thank Edward Ichikawa and Chuck Huxel for their gracious helping-hands in keeping up the church campus ground maintenance. The LCH has a new yard service, 3-D Landscaping, LLC, that will be servicing the Church and Poki lots twice a month starting January 2010.
If you are working on campus on a Saturday and happen to see new faces cleaning the grounds, its the 3-D crew.
Heart Beat Crew
Another year has gone by and the Heart Beat Crew has been meeting on the last Wednesday of the month to prepare the Heart Beat for mailing at 2:00 PM in the Boardroom. The crew is always looking for more helpers. Thanks to Ms. Peggy, Jean-Paul, Ilse, Audrey, Billie Jean, Mary-Jo, Carol, Fritz, and Lori for your help and service to LCH.
Music Mail Out
Mahalo to Vreni Griffith for making sure LCH’s Music postcards get mailed out to let members and friends know of upcoming music events. Many thanks to Kathy Crosier for your help with mailing labels and creating beautiful postcards for our music events.
The LCH Golf Group had one of their largest turn outs yet when 11 gathered for a friendly round on the links after worship on Sunday, December 13.
The beautiful, sunny day was not without incident. Jake McIlvaine showed up in his full dress uniform after being called to an emergency at Pearl Harbor. Fortunately, that got taken care of in time for him to join the group. After all, nothing can keep golfers from their commitments. Fred Benco hit a magnificent drive on the ninth hole—so magnificent it broke the club. But there was also a celebration when Emily McIlvaine got her first par in Hawai‘i.
These golf outings are all about recreation and not competition, and all are welcome. Join them the second Sunday of February when they play at Fort Shafter. See Peggy Anderson for details.
Bill Potter, Webmaster
Over the last couple of weeks I have been monitoring the analysis of traffic on our LCH website in preparation for writing my annual report, and I’d like to share a few observations in this column that didn’t make it into that report.
As you probably would guess, the most visited page on our site is our home page. The five other main pages (the ones listed in the main navigation menu at the top of each page) in the top ten were Worship, Congregational Life, Newsletter, Music, and Children. The other four top pages might surprise you: the paraments and vestments page, our worship furnishing page, the pew cushions page, and the preschool page.
This ranking is fairly constant throughout the year, although the monthly listing of readings, hymns, and special music sometimes makes it in the top ten, and in the last couple of months, the Morning Prayer page as well. There are also a few seasonal changes. For example, during the last part of November and the first part of December each year, the Jesse Tree page shoots up in the monthly rankings.
What accounts for the high ranking of these particular pages? Basically, it derives from the fact that about 80% of the traffic to our site comes from search engines. I guess there are quite a few people looking for ideas for new paraments and needlepoint or trying to find out where they can get a Taizé cross like we have in the Nave.
The Fellowship Committee will be hosting a Brunch Potluck on Sunday, December 27th after the 10:30 service. The committee will be furnishing a ham and dinner rolls. Please bring a dish to share as shown below:
We look forward to seeing you there!
St. John Lutheran Church invites you to our Women’s Retreat January 29–31, 2010, at St. Stephen’s Diocesan Center on the Pali. The theme is “Connect/Reconnect with God,” presented by Maxine Pollock.
“Connect/Reconnect” is about the Great Commandment: Remembering our first connection with the Lord and then allowing space within ourselves for reconnection at a deeper level, which ultimately affects all relationships. In other words: Love of God/Love of neighbor.
Maxine Pollock is a certified spiritual director and has more that 25 years in Christian ministry and spirituality. She received her training from Mercy Center in Burlingame, California.
After 20 years as Pastoral Associate at a large parish, Maxine developed her own ministry called the “Scrub Bucket Gospel Ministries.” She leads retreats and seminars throughout the islands bringing the message of the Love of God to His people.
The cost is $189, which includes lodging and meals. (In addition, free-will donations for the speaker are encouraged.)
A limited number of scholarships are available based on financial need. To register or to apply for a scholarship, email <email@example.com> or mail a check made out to St. John Lutheran to 1004 Kailua Road, Kailua HI 96734. Put Women’s Retreat on the envelope and on your check.
As specified in IRS regulations, all donations made in person at church through Thursday, December 31st, or postmarked by December 31 will be counted as part of your 2009 contributions for tax purposes. Any contributions received (or postmarked) after December 31st—no matter the date on the check—will be credited to 2010 for tax purposes.
Because the Lutheran Church of Honolulu is committed to its vision of sustainability and stewardship, beginning with the February issue, we will be publishing our monthly newsletter The HeartBeat digitally and no longer sending it in paper form to every household.
Not only will this change save thousands of pieces of paper, the electricity needed to duplicate and mail each edition, postage and its associated costs, but it will also free up volunteer hours for other activities.
We realize that not everyone is able to receive the newsletter in electronic form, so if you would like to continue to receive a hard copy of The HeartBeat, please contact the church office by January 15.
Attendance and Offerings for Sunday, December 27, were not available at time of publication.
Next Heart Beat Deadline is Tuesday, January 19!
Words to Start the New Year
Purpose and laughter are the twins that must not separate. Each is empty without the other.”
—Robert K. Greenleaf (via Rev. Dr. Edward A. Black Jr., Presbyterian Church of Broomfield, CO)
“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every New Year find you a better person.”
—Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard‘s Almanack
“Three daily reminders: Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Have the courage to do the right thing because it is right.”
—Mark Twain (via Apple Seeds
A New Year‘s prayer: “May we live in a home at peace and in a world at peace, with the awareness of every baby‘s smile, the beauty in every sunrise and sunset, every flower‘s unfolding petals, and every wonderful, miraculous beat of our heart. May we be blessed with every joy, good health, and the love of God in our hearts in 2010.”
Copyright © 2010 Lutheran Church of Honolulu
1730 Punahou Street, Honolulu, HI 96822 • 808-941-2566
Comments welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org